Christopher Pike…Now THAT’S What I Call Young Adult!

As I was cleaning out the closet in my mess of an office yesterday, I sorted through a box of books and found this:

thirteenThis was better than finding buried treasure!  So I did what any self-respecting person who’d been semi-transported back in time would do…I abandoned my cleaning and sat down to read!

Everyone knows that YA is hot hot hot right now (and I enjoy reading some of it myself), but when I was a teenager, this was my YA.  And in retrospect, it makes a lot of YA out there now look pretty tame.  I read books by all of the authors listed in that picture above, but of course The Master (IMO) was Christopher Pike!

At one point, I owned almost all of Pike’s “thriller” paperbacks, and although I have a sad suspicion that my parents may have donated them to a used book store after I moved out, I hold out hope that they’re packed in a box somewhere, patiently waiting for me to find them.

Hands-down, my absolute favorite was Remember Me.

rememberme2That book had everything.  Seances, dead people walking, crazy bitches, a suicide/murder, and if I remember right, some quasi brother-and-sister lovin’.  Take that, Flowers in the Attic!

Let’s see, what else did we have in Pike’s seemingly-endless arsenal of awesomeness?  Cannibalism (Monster), abortion (Whisper of Death), rampant cocaine use (Die Softly), Nazis (The Wicked Heart), bloody murders (just about all of them)…the list goes on.  And it’s all very graphically detailed for books considered young adult, which of course made them AWESOME!

They aren’t perfect…after a few books, you realize that these teenagers all are six weeks away from graduation and live in cul-de-sacs.  Most of them are in crappy little towns and some of the murder methods are a bit out there.  None of that matters, though, when you can read about sexy lizards from another dimension who appear as human in order to lure hapless teens back to their cave for the purpose of chucking them into a pit of acid (Scavenger Hunt)!  Good times!

Did this post give you a warm rush of nostalgia?  Who was your favorite Pike-era author: R.L. Stein?  Caroline B. Cooney?  And what was your favorite book?  Share your favorite blast from the past in the comments if you’re so inclined, I’d love to hear from you!


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  1. Eric Power

    Christopher Pike was awesome. I think my favorite ones of his is a tossup between Remember Me and Monster. Also favorable mention goes to The Starlight Crystal for being one of the “deepest” books I think I’ve still ever read to this day. I still don’t understand all of it and I’ve read it recently. And I’m 40! I also liked Lois Duncan and Jay Bennett. The young adult books back in the day were great! Many fond memories of them.


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